Dumpster Diving

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Tioga Lake pano

Well, not really dumpster diving… more like combing through the archives. It’s always fun to take a walk down memory lane, and when you carry a camera around with you, well… there are lots of memories created to return to later. Just recently, as I was wandering through an old hard drive where RAW images from a trip to Yosemite in 2010 are stored, I came across a series of photographs that I hadn’t yet processed. Every now and then I’ll encounter a broad and grand vista, one that is hard to capture in one shot, even with a wide angle lens. In this type of situation, I’ll sometimes turn the camera on its side to portrait orientation, and then pan across the landscape making several tighter shots, with the intention of merging the images together into one panoramic photograph later when back at the computer.

Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular, majestic and remarkable places I have ever seen. Truly breathtaking landscapes are around every corner, and on this particular morning Sam and I were in the high country, making our way up, over, and through the Tioga Pass from Lee Vining to Tuolumne Meadow. The reflection of the Eastern Sierra in Tioga Lake was a jaw-dropping scene, one that not only reminds me of what was a great trip with Sam, but also of some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever experienced. The pano above is made up of about 10 separate images, and is actually quite large… I could probably print it 50 inches wide if I wanted to (and if I had a wall to hang it on), and the wider, single-image view below shows you how challenging it is to include everything you want to from a scene like this in one shot.

Tioga Lake

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Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park

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When Sam and I started planning this trip, we originally wanted to stay at the canvas tents of the Tuolumne Meadow Lodge. Apparently these are a hot ticket though, so we had to settle for a motel in Lee Vining, outside the park and about a 25 minute drive back to Tuolumne Meadow.┬áBummed at first, though we soon realized the benefit of our daily commute… having the opportunity to experience the remarkable beauty of the landscape along the highest part of the Tioga Road. Even though Tioga Lake technically is outside the boundary of Yosemite National Park, the mountains you can see in this early morning reflection are inside the park!┬áThe image in this post is just one of many spectacular sights from this incredible stretch of road – a road that cannot possibly have very many equals when it comes to natural beauty. Tioga Lake… not many commutes have views like this!